This may change in a few months, but right now, summer is my favorite season. It has earned this accolade by mastering the most important criteria of all: food.
The August issue of Bon Appetit arrived sporting a picture of an heirloom tomato sandwich so drool-inducing that any sane person must have been tempted to eat the cover. When I made their tomato, raw corn, avocado salsa (with lime juice and, if you insist on ruining it, cilantro and serrano chilies), it looked just like the picture. I do not make food that looks like pictures. Martha Stewart crosses the street when she sees me coming. The food this time of year is just that beautiful.
In summer you can make things like buckwheat pancakes with fresh peaches and cardamom cream syrup, if you have cream, which I didn’t, so I can’t report on them. But just saying fresh peaches, cardamom, and cream in the same sentence lifts my heart (recipe from Cook This Now by Melissa Clark).
This evening I was slicing some squash for future use (don’t worry, I won’t let this one, ecstatic moment of advance preparation go to my head). The deep yellow of the squash was such a clear, visual sign of overflowing goodness that I had to eat one of the raw spears even though I was in the middle of my third chocolate chip cookie.
Last weekend I spent way too much money at the farmer’s market; way too much is the amount that buys more food than I can eat before it goes bad. But how do you choose among raspberries, peaches, Santa Rosa plums, Early Girl tomatoes, and fresh corn? That’s right, you don’t. Yum!
Plus I have these amazing friends who, unlike me, grow things. The sunshine-in-flesh-form squash mentioned above came from a coworker’s mini-farm. Another friend grows scarlet runner beans, which are green on the outside, pink on the inside, and more delicious than any other green bean ever. Yes, ever.
To top it off, while entertaining your tastebuds, you can also sit outside and be warm (except maybe in certain parts of northern California). So rejoice! Summer is celebrating and we’re invited.